BYU law professors sign letter declaring Obama compromise 'unacceptable'

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  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 17, 2012 11:28 p.m.

    First off, the position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not relevant to this discussion. The only relevant fact is that the required procedures violate the teachings of the Catholic Church and the government is trying to force Catholic institutions to fund such procedures.

    I will give a hypothetical example of what a like attack on the Church of Jesus Christ would look like. In this example the government decides to improve health by mandating employers provide a free meal to employees. To encorage better healththe government also requires a glass of wine with the meal since that reduces rates of heart disease. The government would exempt BYU from the wine requirement, since virtually all students are LDS. However it would mandate wine be served at Deseret Industries since a large portion of the employees are not LDS. It would then give the LDS Church the option of including free wine in on-the-job meals served at Deseret Industries or adopting a policy that makes it so only baptized church members can be employed at Deseret Industries.

    This is an analogy of what the Obama administration is doing to Catholics that hopefully makes it clear why it is so egregious.

  • don17 Temecula, CA
    Feb. 15, 2012 1:50 p.m.

    The information about anyone other than Catholics must be incorrect! According to the great commentators at Fox News(Hannity and Susteran) only Catholics are fighting this battle. Just look at their long list of nightly guests! Do they even know a Theologian who is not Catholic? oHow about a Religion Professor or Business leader who is not Catholic? Their parochial(Catholic School Term) look into this issue is narrow minded and again leaves short the efforts by all others who are working to stop this issue. But, if you want to watch beware of the fact that you will have to watch Susteran do another nice e nice dance with FOX insider Gingrich.

    It's time for FOX to be "Fair and Balanced" in its reporting on primary candidates and its time for them to use proper terminology when attacking the non Catholic candidates. Even the polling in this article illustrates that the majority of Republicans do not see the Catholic candidates being the strongest defenders of defeating the Administrations push on this subject. If Fox was not so devisive the Republican Party would coalesce. They are as much responsible for division in this nation as are the networks they claim are dividing the nation.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:55 p.m.


    The definition of abortion is termination of pregnancy.

    A fertilized egg does not constitute pregnancy.
    The morning after pill is to be taken within 72 hrs after sex and works primarily by stopping ovulation and fertilization. It also thins the lining of the uterus which may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, although this has not been confirmed. After fertilization, it takes 6-12 days for implantation.

    What is the LDS church stance on women using IUD's.

    I think we should explore impotence inducing drugs for all unmarried men.

  • paguas REXBURG, ID
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    We fled England to find religious freedom. The point is that the law should not compel citizens to do what is morally reprehensible to them. Allowing freedom for others is different. People should be free to use contraceptives if their conscience dictates, but citizens should not be compelled upon penalty of law to endorse what their religion considers to be murder.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    The "morning after" pill is part of the mandate. It is an abortion inducing drug. To try to claim otherwise is to engage in sophistry. If something ends the life of a child after concepcion it is abortion causing, and the whole reason it is called the "morning after drug" is because it is taken after conceptcion to stop the growth of the unborn child and kill that child.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    I would just like to reemphasize this is not a pro-life fight. You can hold the view that the government has no right to regulate the killing of any child under the age of 2 (which I do not think anyone would likely express publicly, but this is just to point how not related to pro-life issues this is) and still object to the actions of the Obama administration.

    The question here is whether the government has the authority to compel people to support actions that they find morally objectionable. If the government wants to provide free contraceptics to everyone, it can do so by directly taxing everyone to provide such coverage. However to force private organizations to give such coverage out of their own funds violates the basic principal of not forcing people to participate in actions against their religious beliefs. The government has never won a case of forcing people to violate their religious beliefs who are private citizens with no relationship to the govenrment either by employment or incarceration. These plans come close to presenting a choice of emigrating or violating your religious beliefs. They definantly are meant to force a Catholic hospital to chose between admitting all paying costomers or turning away any non-Catholic, however life threatening their condition is.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 15, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    The authors of the letter are right. Obama's actions change nothing, and still constitute a direct assault on religious freedom. This should be a major issue of concern even to people who have no religious objection to Obama's program, if anything specifically to those who have no religious objection. The measure of religious freedom is our supporting of allowing people to act on their religion when we disagree with them. I fully accept that within marriage the use of contraceptives is appropriate, but I reject the idea that the government has any right to force those who view such actions as wrong to fund them.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    âCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...â

    âNo religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.â

    These two instances are the only references to religion found in the Constitution of the United States of America. They seem to be the basis for the argument by great and learned men for the unbridled freedom of churches and their members to be exempt from the laws of the United States.

    They are redefining the meaning of the word religion to include the activities of religious people beyond the expected notion of belief and worship.

    Thus if a church operates a hospital or even an insurance company, those entities may participate in the commerce of the general population and at the same time enjoy to freedom from laws and regulations governing those entities. (Recently when ask about the presidents compromise the Catholic spokesman responded We own the insurance company)

    If we allow carte blanche freedom to churches and religious entities, there cannot be the freedom of religion as Americans seem to desire. Contrary to the belief of some, freedom does not exist just by the will of God, it is something that is created by the agreement among people to restrict and limit the freedom of all so that the individual may have freedom.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Feb. 15, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    Wow. A whole article over two (2!) professors signing an anti-Obama letter. I thought somebody sent anti-Obama letters every day from BYU, but it turns out that this one doesn't even originate locally. Good thing the author included the material about the last Rasmussen poll or we might have missed the article's true message.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    pragmatist for life said: "A twenty four hour fertilized egg is a "human being"? Prove it."

    Prove to me that it is the "woman's body." From my perspective, this is the more difficult task. Taking DNA samples from woman and fertilized egg will reveal . . . what? Suppose the fertilized egg has a Y chromosome. That would be a pretty sure sign it isn't "the woman's body."

    Now before you jump all over me, I agree with you that it is relatively impossible to demonstrate that the fertilized egg is another human being. But I hope you'll agree with me that it is easy to substantiate that it isn't the woman's body.

    What I don't comprehend is our society's inconsistency. We wail and grieve because the Powell boys were hacked with an ax and then blown up by their father. But it's OK to rip offspring out of the womb?

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    The religious right is digging itself deeper and deeper into the mud each day.
    People, use your brain and your common sense, please.
    You have the right to worship as you choose. You have the right to use or not use birth control. If your religion tells you to have a child every year, and avoid birth control, go for it( and get yourself a high paying job so you all won't live on the streets and starve to death).
    If you folks think that the religious right is not using contraception and, at times, other forms of birth control, you are terribly misinformed.
    Use your massive power, raid the various medical facilities, check our their records, and you will have the truth.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    Re: Pragmatistferlife

    " A twenty-four hour fertilized egg is a "human being"? Prove it."

    Prove it isn't a human being. When was the last time a human fertilized egg grew into anything other than a human being? The only question is at what age the human is do we as a society decide to protect that humans life. Wether it is 12 hours old or 12 years old, it is still developing in to full adulthood. If you go by the fact that the 12 hour old human is in a womans body, then where do you draw the line for protection? That is the issue. You can take a protect at conception stance, or go the Tiller route that until the baby is out of the womb it is fair game to kill. Or, somewhere in between.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    Ok pragmat, I'll bite. You say if a 24 hour fertilized egg is a human being...prove it.
    Prove to me that it isn't or that it won't become one! Or, if the egg came from a human being and was fertilized by a human being, have you ever seen it turn out to be... a horse? Or anything other than a human being, ever?

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:17 a.m.


    My point exactly. Not as wide spread as the previous poster implied, is it? I'm not condoning abortion, just pointing out the problem with the previous poster's claim. Have a great day!

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    So me where on this thread you were told you didn't have the right to believe as you choose..or you were told you didn't have the right to speak your opinion..?

    A twenty four hour fertilized egg is a "human being"? Prove it.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    Re: Claudio

    Medicare was and is for the people who have reached a certain age. If one is not old enough one gets another free medical program, medicade for instance, if they cannot pay or have no insurance. Yes, we have been providing socialized medicine for decades in America to those who have no other option. Why however do we need to change to a 100% coverage program, which history has shown only degrades the quality of medical care as a whole? As for PP in Utah, I have seen them. They are out there, and there is no law which could or will prevent them from being in any state. Plus there are other places to get birth control besides PP.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:52 a.m.


    Socialized medicine=medicare. It was enacted by a Republican administration. Also, when was the last time you saw a Planned Parenthood in Utah?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    Lies and distortions from the left on this:
    #1: "This is about women's rights"! No, it isn't! Any woman in America can walk into many health care clinics in America and receive free birth control products,including abortions on demand. This is really about FORCING people to pay for birth control/abortion for other people, even if it violates their religious liberties (killing an unborn human being).
    #2: Freedom of speech is only for liberals. All others who disagree must be silenced, shouted down and ridiculed, even if you have to tell half truths and lie about other people. If you disagree with a liberal, you must shut your mouth, keep your head down and just accept their verison of morality or the lack thereof!
    #3: Where in the constitution does it give the President the power to force American's or American companies to buy anything? This is way out of constitutional bounds for Obama to attempt this!
    #4:Shame on Americans who just don't care and like sheep are bleating for more free goods paid for by other Americans for a would be dictator.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    With Planned Parenthood and other organizations out there providing easy access to cheap or free birth control, why was this needed in the first place? Either Obama has stepped in it with Catholics and others, (I hope) or this is the first step into the government "forcing" the private sector to "give" for free, all medical needs. The thin edge of the wedge to get one universal coverage mandated, then on to every other medical need provided for free at the tax payers expense. Can you say Obamacare. Can you say socialized medicine.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:18 a.m.

    Get the federal government out of the health care business and we will never again have to worry about stupid executive orders from presidents that don't know any better. Obama is our servant, not our king.

  • Kris Highland, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    It is not the right of one citizen to force another to pay for his or her own contraception. Nobody is saying that people can't buy it; the question is whether I have to pay for you to use it.

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    Boo on Obama!

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    You as an individual have the right to have your actions influenced by any source you choose. However, your actions once they enter society must adhere to exsisting laws, regardless of their influence. cjb put it well "Most religions do stand up for good, the problem is they also have a lot of arbitrary rules that have nothing to do with good, but are very controlling. Not using birth control is one of those arbitrary non sensible rules.

    The problem is the catholic rule about not using birth control, is not just non sensible but is illegal when the rule is forced on anyone in the work place. While it may offend your conscious you still have the religious freedom to believe as you choose, and you have the feedom to act as you choose (live your conscience) but you don't have the right to force others to act as you believe outside the confines of your religion. don't have the right to act as you please anywhere and anytime you want.

    Religions discriminate against women all day every day in their religious practices and it's perfectly legal (although why any women would put up with it is a mystery), but yes there is an effort to limit that discrimination to the confines of your religious practices.

    BTW, the Rasmussen poll is always wrong..always.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    I wish we could just declare Obama unacceptable!

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    I went through that link at the top of the article and there are roughly 200 male signees to 40 female ones. You know there are uses for hormonal birth control other than pregnancy prevention.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    I have to disagree with the BYU professors. Religion has no business making life inconvenient for people who don't voluntarily follow their unique dictates.

    For example, suppose there was a hospital, a major employer in community who said, you can work here, but if you do, you must exercise leadership in your family and ensure your wife and daughters wear a burka when ever they go out into the community and that your daughters don't go to school or get an education.

    The typical conservative response what I have just said is if you don't like the restrictions that employer puts on you, find a job somewhere else. ... Yea right, its just so easy to find jobs. People shouldn't have to choose between employment and living their life free of arbitrary dictates of religions that have a lot of non-sensible rules.

    Most religions do stand up for good, the problem is they also have a lot of arbitrary rules that have nothing to do with good, but are very controlling. Not using birth control is one of those arbitrary non sensible rules.

    Thank goodness we have national leaders who see this and are willing to stand up against this kind of soft tyranny.

    Remember it was as recent at the 1960's that courts ruled that laws in the southern United States forbiding the use of birth control were unconstitutional. There was religious feeling then too that this was somehow wrong. Thank goodness for the courts. Thank goodness for Obama.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 6:38 a.m.

    Deseret News. When did IUD's and the pill become abortions? This article makes the claim people are being forced to pay for abortions drugs, and that's simply not true. How about telling the truth instead of just printing lies that a BYU professor writes.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 6:36 a.m.

    As an LDS graduate of BYU, I am vehemently opposed to these BYU professors taking this position and I hope they do not represent the positions of either BYU or the Church. The Obama Administration's actions actually is pro-life, reducing the potential of abortions and providing preventative health care. Having BYU people so closely identify with a politicized religious stance with which it can be argued is actually counter to official Church positions is troubling. I realize that BYU and the Church are de facto Republican institutions, but there should at least be some effort not to appear partisan. And on top of this is the logical inconsistency of their position with other practices based on religious views which are banned by the government and of which they are wholly supportive. Take polygamy or even gay marriage, for example. If these guys are consistent, then they should be supportive of these activities as long as they are based on a religious belief. We can save the equality under the law argument for later. Effectively, we have a group arguing for government protection for stuff they like, but are happy to deny protection for things they don't like.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2012 6:00 a.m.

    The religious freedom of a Catholic hospital should not override the religious freedom and quality of care for the patient. The law has been written. A woman can have an abortion. If we disagree with that, we can encourage our lawmakers to do something about it. Is there a reason why no Republican legislator is proposing a constitutional amendment to ban abortion? They seem to want an amendment for everything else under the sun, why not this? Could it be because they know they would lose re-election? Sounds like they want it both ways, they want to speak "religious-ese" but don't want to actually do anything to prove their conviction.

    I'm personally not in favor of abortions. I am however in favor of the law, and this has been law for nearly 40 years now. There is a procedure for changing the law. Screaming religious freedom at a rape victim in distress is not one of them. It is akin to camping in a park and screaming "my park."

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Feb. 15, 2012 5:47 a.m.

    Hi Pagan,

    Let's assume that you object to reading the Bible on moral grounds (you could pick any other practice that you morally object to...this is merely for illustrative purposes). Would it be fair for the government to REQUIRE you to provide others with Bibles, even if you object to doing so?

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Feb. 15, 2012 4:24 a.m.

    Happy valley Heretic,

    A citizen does not have the "right" to purchase something at someone else's expense. This is not about the right to purchase contraceptives. Everyone currently has the right to make these purchases. This is about the right to NOT purchase them.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 4:07 a.m.

    This presidential demand is not even a compromise, its the power of socialism and dictatorships. The government has no right to force any business with federal welfare policy. Federal policy must not be allowed in the free market of capitalism.

    There are no federal laws empowering government to make demands of or force business to comply with laws of socialism that don't even exist. Next thing you know business will not be allowed to shut their doors or go out of business without presidential approval.

  • across the sea Topeno, Finland
    Feb. 15, 2012 2:17 a.m.

    America is taken on a ride, a spiral down to extremist haven ...

    What is wrong here is that these costs are not for treating human sickness - just a sick society.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 14, 2012 9:43 p.m.

    What is interesting is the lack of women in this discourse. Nearly all the articles and media discussions of this issue has featured mostly men. Imagine if women were discussing contraceptive policy for men?

    Furthermore, I'm surprised to see the oft repeated false claim that abortion inducing drugs are part of the mandate. It proves the point that conservatives, whether law school professors or not, are relying on the same incorrect propaganda.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2012 9:00 p.m.

    'Defending religion is a citizens right . . . just saying'.' - metamoracoug | 6:44 p.m. Feb. 14, 2012

    It is YOUR right.

    Like, it is your right to not use birth control.

    When you actively work to DENY that option of choice to anyone else...?

    You become a tyrant.

    i.e. If I felt that no one should be Mormon due to being 'Christian'...?

    Should I then LEGISLATE you to only be Christian?

    Same logic.

    Because my belief's tell me something, I can factually work to DENY it, to you.

    Or is this only 'acceptable' discrimination, when it happens to someone, else?

    FYI, while all this is going on...

    Republican create ZERO jobs.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Feb. 14, 2012 6:44 p.m.

    happy Vally:

    Defending religion is a citizens right . . . just sayin'.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 14, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    I wish these guys were around when we were being told to accept the Iraq war and shut up.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 14, 2012 4:14 p.m.

    BO cares more about the demands of the radical feminists than the protections contained in the 1st amendment.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 14, 2012 2:27 p.m.

    Are there only two professor at BYU who believe that life is sacred? Are there only two?

    Where are the others?

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Feb. 14, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    Like the rest of the left wing extremists, Obama is determined to erradicate any religious influence in the public sphere. This forced providing of contraception is the latest in a long line of leftist attacks on religion.

    Obamacare's mandate that religious schools and hospitals provide abortion pills is perhaps the most devious attack yet. If forces religious institutions to violate both their believe that life is sacred, and that sexual activity should should take place only in a marriage relationship.

    The left believes that the so-called right to engage in indiscriminate sexuality at anytime with any person is more important than the protection of human life. It is apparently not enough for the left to have this belief; the left must now force religious institutions to act in accordance with that belief.